WebDAV methods operate on the source of a resource or a collection. HTTP methods such as GET and PUT are overloaded by the WebDAV protocol and therefore, a request with these methods can either be a request to the source of the resource or a request to the content (output) of the resource.
Microsoft and many other WebDAV vendors have addressed this problem by sending a Translate:f header with the request to inform the server that the request is for the source. In order to be interoperable with the popular WebDAV client Microsoft WebFolders, Sun Java System Web Server 6.1 recognizes the Translate:f header as a request to the source of the resource. To accommodate clients that do not send the Translate:f header, Sun Java System Web Server 6.1 defines a source URI. See Common WebDAV Terminology for a more detailed explanation of the term source URI.
For a WebDAV-enabled collection, the request to the URI retrieves the content (output) of the resource and a request to the source URI retrieves the source of the resource. A request to the URI with a Translate:f header is treated as a request to the source URI.
Note that by default all access to the source of a resource is denied by the dav-src ACL with the following declaration in the server instance-specific ACL file:
deny (all) user = "anyone";
An user can enable access to the source to a user by adding access rights to the source URI. For more information on adding URI-specific ACLs, please see Enabling Access Control for WebDAV.